Busch Gardens is unlike most other local theme parks due to its more than 12,000 exotic animal inhabitants. Along with some of Florida’s most thrilling attractions, the park features a variety of species from around the world. Parkgoers can get even more animal action by going behind the scenes at Busch Gardens during special up-close experiences.
Animal Connections is Busch Gardens Tampa’s main attraction when it comes to up-close animal interactions. Guests of all ages will enjoy learning how the park’s animal ambassadors care for the resident critters. The experts will also explain how the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation fund protects animals all around the world. Other activities at Animal Connections include hand-feeding flamingos and watching how the park’s sloths behave.
The ultimate animal experience at Busch Gardens Tampa is the award-winning Serengeti Safari. During the 30-minute guided tour, guests will travel across 65 acres of Serengeti Plain in an open-air touring vehicle. The excursion takes riders on a wild journey, getting up close to African wildlife. Animals on the plain include giraffes, zebras, ostriches, rhinos, and a variety of antelope species. In addition to the amazing views, guests on the safari will get to hand-feed giraffes and enjoy once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities.
Currently, additional precautions are in place on the Serengeti Safari Tour, including:
- Limited capacity and socially distanced party sizes
- Required face coverings over the nose and mouth for the entire tour
- Hand washing stations to use before and after the tour
- Photos are welcome, but Busch Gardens Ambassadors can not handle personal cameras/devices
The Serengeti Safari costs $29.99 per person. Make sure your reservation for the Safari is on the same day as your park reservation! For cost-free observation of the incredible African wildlife, just hop aboard the Serengeti Express. The park’s train system offers great views of the free-roaming animals while traveling. The locomotive makes stops at the Congo, Nairobi, and Stanleyville train stations.
Animal Care Center
At the Animal Care Center, guests can closely observe or even join in the animal care experience. Inside Busch Gardens’ state-of-the-art facility, you have the unique opportunity to see the experts in action. Animal care practices you’ll see include nutrition, treatments, X-Rays, surgeries, and more.
The Animal Care Center is also the backdrop for the Emmy-nominated television series “The Wildlife Docs”. The series gives viewers an inside look at the work of zoological professionals. The Wildlife Docs includes Busch Gardens’ resident veterinarians and trainers. It offers incredible insights into how they care for more than 200 different animal species in the park.
Currently, the Animal Care Center is only open to guests for a limited number of hours per day.